Building your own mini energy generator with magnets
Turn your magnets lying around at home into a power-generating machine.
If the video player is not working, you can watch the video from this alternative link.
Playing with magnets is incredibly fun. But, wouldn't it be awesome to both play with, and do something useful with magnets?
How about generating enough power to light a bulb, for example? Follow this guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Cardboard/wood/plastic sheet
- Flick switch
- Neodymium magnets
- DC motor
- Hot glue gun
- Small plastic pulley wheel
- Light bulb holder
- Light bulb
- 9V battery and battery connector
- Soldering kit
- Electrical wires, resistors, and soldering gear
With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.
Step 1: Make the dynamo coil and light fitting
The first step is to take some length of copper wire (or strip off the insulation from some normal wiring) and a donut magnet. Coil the wire around the donut/ring magnet to make a dynamo coil, as shown in the video.
This will take a little time, so enjoy the process - it is actually pretty cathartic.
With that done, take your light fitting and loosen the wire connecting terminals as needed. Take the loose wire ends from the coil you made previously, and connect them to the terminals of the light fitting.
Screw tight the terminals to hold the wires firmly in place as needed.
Step 2: Make the base
With that done, take your sheet of cardboard, wood, or plastic card. If too large for your purpose, cut down the sheet to size to fit the light fitting, motor, and battery as needed.
With that done, take your hot glue gun and glue the light fitting into place to one side of the sheet as needed. If desired, you could first cut a small hole to fit the wires through, but this is not necessary.
Next, glue the coil vertically into place to the other side of the base plate too.
Step 3: Complete the device
Next, take your battery and DC motor. Glue the motor to the top of the battery with the rotor pointing outwards to one side.
With that done, add a small plastic pulley wheel to the motor's rotor as needed. Next, add a blob of hot glue to the end of the pulley wheel, and glue another donut magnet into place as shown below.
With that done, add some more glue to the base of the device and glue the battery/motor into place opposite the light fitting.
Ensure the two magnet rings are fairly close together but are not touching so that the motor's magnet can freely spin, yet induce a current in the coil.
With that done, add some solder to each of the terminals of the motor. Then, take your battery connector and solder the wires to each of the terminals of the motor, as needed.
With that done, you can then connect the battery holder to the terminals of the 9V battery. At this point, your DIY magnet-powered power generator is now basically complete.
You can now test it by adding a bulb of your choice into the light fitting. Next, connect the battery connector to the battery terminals.
This should trigger the motor's rotor to spin, and by virtue of its magnet. This, in turn, should then induce a current in the coil to illuminate the bulb!
If it doesn't, check the wiring to ensure nothing has come loose. You can also test each part of the device to ensure that the motor is working, or the battery actually has some charge.
If you enjoyed this simple build, you might be interested in making another magnet-based project? How about, for example, your own magnet-powered drink stirring machine?
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